From 2006-2008, director Jason Scott interviewed over 70 programmers, writers, academics and designers about text adventures and interactive fiction, that genre of computer game which dominated the early days of home computer and which has faded into a much smaller portion of the game world. Even though it is no longer at the forefront of gaming, the influence and breadth of the subject inspired Jason to track down as many of the original designers of these games as he could, as well as... Topics: GET LAMP, Text Adventures, Interactive Fiction, Interviews
How do you feel about Gandhi? This week on Cartridge Blowers we talk about how that dead motherfucker who drank his own pee is a total warmongering prick and George Washington deserves an atomic bombing as we discuss various Civilization games! Seriously, we talk about Civ a lot so I mean if you're here for a shit vampire game where you can't even get a vampire coolgang going, then pack it in, loser. Plus, on top of the sim empiring, this episode is solidified as the nerdiest episode ever as we... Topics: Cody, video game, video games, text adventures
Mike Roberts is the creator of TADS (Text Adventure Development System), one of the most popular game development systems. As one of the creators of commercial text adventure products in the 1990s, his perspective was invaluable for understanding the waning context of these games at that time. TADS continues to be developed and is considered a nearest competitor to the Inform system. Topics: GET LAMP, Mike Roberts, Text Adventures, TADS
Scott Adams is considered one of the giants of adventure games, especially text-based adventures (The Scott Adams Grand Adventures (SAGA) series is especially cited). He is the founder of Adventure International, which sold software for a variety of platforms, mostly involving entertainment. This company grew wildly through the early 1980s but eventually went bankrupt in the inevitable industry shake-out, but should be considered one of the top "old-school" microcomputer software... Topics: GET LAMP, Scott Adams, Adventure International, Text Adventures
One of the more common questions and statements made when I was discussing the production of GET LAMP was what role MUDs would play in the final work. MUDs, or Multi-User-Dimensions, or Multi-User-Dungeons (or Multi-Undergraduate Destroyers) were compelling, text-based worlds that took the world by storm starting in the 1970s and then attracting a mass of new adherents in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the introduction of many college students to the internet. Now, as it turns out, while... Topics: GET LAMP, Jim Aspnes, TinyMUD, Interview, Text Adventures, Interactive Fiction
When recording dozens of interviews for a documentary, a few are going to have notably less footage than the others, for no major reason other than time constraints and subject matter. While Mike Sousa is very scant in the GET LAMP movie and bonus features, he gave an excellent interview, the clips from which are finally available here. Mike Sousa's most notable feature to me that caused me to seek him out was his method of collaborating with other authors for most of his work; he'd worked with... Topics: GET LAMP, Mike Sousa, Text Adventures, Interactive Fiction, Interviews
On December 20, 2014 I filed a freedom of information act (FOIA) request with the FBI asking for all files relating to Activision and Infocom from 1979 through 2000. On December 31 2014, the FBI sent a response, indicating that they were unable to find any relevant records. Here is the text of my request: This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I am requesting any and all files relating to the company Activision, which is based in California. Date range: 1979 though 2000. In... Topics: Activision, Infocom, video games, text adventures, interactive fiction
Several people had suggested I meet up with Mike Gentry - his work, Anchorhead, had itself turned a bunch of heads with its style, emotion, and approach. While one can never really tell what someone is "first" and "second", he seemed a great writer first who happened to use interactive fiction to tell one of his stories, not unlike Adam Cadre with Photopia. So we made an arrangement to meet in Virginia, at his home. You never know how things will turn out for any interview,... Topics: GET LAMP, Interview, Mike Gentry, Interactive Fiction, Text Adventures
A collection of digitized scans from a large cache of documents related to the game publisher Infocom, Inc. of Cambridge, MA. Assembled by Steven Meretzky of Infocom. In 2006, documentary filmmaker Jason Scott began production on GET LAMP, a video documentary about the realm of text adventures and interactive fiction. Shooting and research time was roughly 4 years, during which Jason interacted with a large variety of members of the various communities and companies that made up the story of... Topics: Infocom, Meretzky, Text Adventures, Scans, Maps, Game Design
The podcast for the greatest genre of all time. A genre long since forgotten except for a handful of most excellent gamers. Hosted by the author of many games D.B.T. Topics: text adventures, retro gaming, retro computing, computing, retro, adventures, interactive fiction
Stephen Granade is one of the rare writers who was paid, for some amount of time, to write about Interactive Fiction regularly. While employed by about.com, he maintained a section on the subject, including links and essays. With the closure/ending of his time with about.com, he still had the rights to his works and used this as the foundation for a new site, Brass Lantern, which reviews and analyzes interactive fiction. Granade is also the current maintainer/organizer of The Annual IF... Topics: GET LAMP, Stephen Granade, Interview, IFcomp, Brass Lantern, Text Adventures, Interactive Fiction
KansasFest is the largest annual gathering of Apple II enthusiasts in the world. Held each year, the event draws attendees from all over the world. For more info, see kansasfest.org. In 2009, Jason Scott was the keynote speaker. Jason is the host of the Textfiles.com web site, and creator of the "Get Lamp" video that chronicles text adventures, and "BBS: The Documentary" about computer bulletin board systems. He gave a fascinating talk about his projects, and his experience... Topics: KansasFest, KFest, 2009, Jason Scott, Apple, Apple II, BBS, text adventures
Dan Horn, Infocom Dan Horn stated as a programmer at Scott Adams’ Adventure International, where he programmed the Atari version of Treasure Quest. Then he moved to Infocom where he was technical director, then became head of the microcomputing group. This interview took place on May 21, 2015. Teaser quotes: “The feelies were really the copy protection. If you had a feelie, you were compelled — not really for copy protection purposes — but you were compelled to have it because it was... Topics: computer history, Infocom, text adventures, interactive fiction, interview, Douglas Adams, Scott...
Kevin and Carrington discuss Trinity, Infocom's classic game about the dangers of the Atomic Age, and it's a blast! Get it? Get it? A blast? Hilarious. Links: The Digital Antiquarian on Trinity Infocom Trinity maps David Welbourn's Patreon for interactive fiction walkthroughs Infocom Trinity specs Graham Nelson's Craft of Adventure Sadako Sasaki Beyond The Filter 11 - On Interactive Fiction with Emily Short Clash of the Type-Ins Infocom game stats spreadsheet Topics: Trinity, Infocom, interactive fiction, text adventures, text adventure games, nuclear war, Brian...
The Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation (IFTF) is a new non-profit charged with supporting the tools, infrastructure, and legal needs of the interactive fiction community. Also known as text adventures, interactive fiction is one of digital entertainment's oldest storytelling media, and one that is enjoying a renewed interest, thanks to the annual competition IFComp and the IF Archive database, both of which the IFTF now supports. In this week's episode, I speak with Chris Klimas,... Topics: Chris Klimas, development, game design, GET LAMP, IF, IF Archive, IFComp, IFTF, IFTFoundation,... Source: https://www.polygamer.net/2016/08/24/pg50-iftfoundation/
Carolyn VanEseltine is an accomplished game designer and developer, having worked at such studios as Harmonix and Giant Spacekat. Her recent presentation at Google, " Everyone can make games now ", underscores her belief that the freedom to make games is a basic human right, and that games should open and accessible to all as a medium of artistic expression. But what does it mean to be a game designer? Does one need to know how to program, or is that the province of game developers?... Topics: Carolyn VanEseltine, Choice of Games, development, game design, game jam, gamejam, Giant Spacekat,... Source: https://www.polygamer.net/2016/01/13/pg37-carolyn-vaneseltine/
Graham Nelson and Emily Short talk about IF (interactive fiction, or text adventure games), at Oxford Brookes University in 2013. Graham introduces himself and his work, and demos the IF programming language Inform 7. Emily talks about her work with the IF app Versu. Further info: Inform 7 Versu "Transmedia" event Writeup of the "transmedia" event Topics: IF, interactive fiction, text adventures, text adventure games, Graham Nelson, Emily Short, talk,...